Cara Suppa writing on homesteading incomes…
Traffic, deadlines, debt, and an increasing sense of alienation from the crowded, suffocating lifestyles offered by cities are good reasons to seek out a calmer, healthier more fulfilling way to live. The concept of homesteading – leading a simple, self-sufficient life on the land – has worked for generations of Americans. And it’s never been as easy as it is today.
While homesteaders embrace their self-sufficiency, having something in the bank is still desirable. Can you make money homesteading? Most certainly. From old-fashioned farmers markets to new-age ecommerce, the many ways to earn an income might surprise you. Here are some of the unique ways you can make money while living your everyday life.
1. Sell Your Extra Food Stuffs
You can raise and keep chickens and other food-providing animals, like cows, sheep, goats, rabbits and pigs. These animals obviously produce meat, which you can turn into jerky, sausages, steaks and other cuts. Chickens will also provide eggs, while cows, sheep, and goats yield milk that can be used to create a variety of other sellable goods, like cheese and yogurt. After an animal has been slaughtered for meat, its bones can be used to make nutrient-rich bone broth. You can make the broth and sell it, or sell the bones, along some handy instructions, so buyers can learn to do it themselves.
You can also cash in on their crops, with fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in high demand. And why worry about picking and transporting the produce? Instead, if you own orchards or plentiful fields, you can charge people to come and pick their own apples, blueberries, or what-have-you, by the head, the hour or the basketful. Building a greenhouse is a great investment, because then produce can be grown – and sold – year-round.
2. Sell Your Handmade Goods
If you develop your woodworking skills, you can take a chunk of wood and turn it into a sturdy, gorgeously wrought piece of furniture. Or perhaps you clack away with your knitting needles, effortlessly turning out sweaters, socks, scarves, hats and blankets. If you have an intuitive hand for rendering herbs into soaps, oils and candles, you’ll find a ready market. These skills help around the home, but they are also highly desirable and sought after by others, thanks to the growing recognition that products made in small batches by individual artisans have a quality and integrity to them like no other.
3. Offer a Homesteading Experience
More and more people are curious about homesteading, but they feel overwhelmed at the prospect of starting. One way to help these people learn more is to let them come to your homestead and observe or experience it for themselves.
This could be as simple as offering guided tours of your land and property. If you have really created an impressive homestead that is significantly self-sufficient, others will want to come and see it to marvel at your independence and perhaps pick up a few tips for themselves.
One of the latest trend in income generation among homesteaders is offering a fully immersive experience where visitors book a stay on the property and really get a feel for what homesteading entails. If you already have a structure that can be outfitted for guests or can create one for this purpose, you can then rent it out, using sites like Airbnb (Airbnb.com) and Hipcamp (hipcamp.com).
Invite the more motivated guests to take part in the daily chores of the farm, set up workshops where they can learn to make candles or shear sheep, or allow for a more laid-back experience where they simply stay put and relax but still find themselves surprised at the challenges involved in daily homesteading life.
4. Write Your Own How-to Guide
Once you have been homesteading for long enough, you’ll be brimful of wisdom, tips and hacks that would help others. Settlers and pioneers in this country began to thrive thanks to a strong oral tradition and the passing on of knowledge from one generation to the next through working side-by-side (fathers teaching sons husbandry simply by doing it together, every day), until trial-and-error became expertise. That tradition is lost to most people in the 21st century, so a simple, well-written, how-to guide for anyone from beginners to more experienced will find a readership.
There are plenty of self-publishing venues, but Amazon offers a straight-forward option with an impossibly wide audience. The best part about making money from a homesteading how-to guide is that it is passive income; you only have to do the work once and then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. If you have a flair for both self-sufficiency and the written word, this is a great option.
5. Offer Your Services as a Homesteading Consultant
Sometimes a booklet isn’t enough for a burgeoning homesteader. They have a tract of land, some tools, and a will to learn…but no practical idea of how to turn all of that into successful self-sufficiency.
As a consultant, you could go to the people who are paying for your time and expertise, suggesting ways and means for them to make homesteading work on their own terms, or you might let interested parties serve something like an apprenticeship under you, as you take them through your day and show them the main points necessary for survival. Not only are you earning some income for yourself, you are helping others achieve a more self-sufficient lifestyle that is good for the environment and good for humanity.
P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in Truth & Plenty. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.
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